This year's International Donkey Week is coming to an end. Today all the donkey weekers are spending the day back at Slade House Farm for a chance to say goodbye to all their friends ... old and new.
Even though it was the last day, there was donkey grooming, walking and last minute cuddles for all the donkeys.
When I arrived at the marquee, Zoe Norris was giving a talk about the work of the Sanctuary in Ireland. Paul Svendsen later brought us up to date with all the work in Europe and something I didn't know was that Dr Svendsen was initially involved in setting up the cable car rides in Santorini to take the load off the donkeys carrying tourists up the steep cliffs of the island.
All around the marquee donkey weekers were buying their gifts to take home and last minute raffle tickets to win some lovely prizes. It was wonderful to watch happy people just sitting together enjoying their day. Outside donkeys brayed with contentment in their paddocks.
It was time for the farewell talks, draws for raffle tickets and auction. Little did we know that there was a very special item for auction ... a one-off special published edition of Dr Svendsen's new book called "Not just donkeys". The bidding started at £50 for a once in a life-time chance to own this special edition signed by Dr Svendsen. The bidding was intense... the hammer going down at £410 to a Mr and Mrs Harris from Bristol to a huge applause.
This year's Donkey Week was almost over. All around donkey weekers were saying goodbye to each other and making plans to get in touch before meeting up next year ... same place, same time. People made their way to the coaches to take them back to their hotels, stopping to cuddle donkeys on their way. As the coaches drove away, Sanctuary staff were there to wave them all goodbye for another year.
Donkey Week may be over, but I guarantee if I were to walk around the Sanctuary over the next few days, there will be the odd donkey weeker standing by a fence talking to a donkey who has come over to see them. Their conversations to remain private between two long ears for ever!